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Solar industry growing, but tariff sparks fears

The Acadia Center and 20 other organizations and advocates wrote to DEEP on Dec. 22 to argue the proposed changes would lead to higher metering and billing costs and imperiled “the future of smart homes with storage and energy management.”

“Everything you’re generating on-site should be credited at the retail rate,” Emily Lewis O’Brien, a policy analyst with Acadia Center, said last week.

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Would also seem that the Acadia analyst quoted has a valid point relative to residential solar production in that the home owner should be credited/reimbursed at the retail rate for the power they produce. The fact that the power companies back the new reimbursement proposal should tell us something. What is a the effect on state electricity tax revenue from the new proposed formula? Would not be surprised that it would be higher?

Read the full article from The Day here.

Connecticut Solar Companies Pinched By New Tariffs On Foreign Panels

While solar businesses and advocates say the tariffs will cost jobs and renewable energy projects across the country, they may also dampen a market already shaken by a proposed update to Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy. “The need is to grow the solar market in Connecticut and deploy solar at a faster rate,” said William Dornbos, advocacy director and senior attorney of the Acadia Center. “The draft energy strategy in combination with the federal solar tariff are almost exactly the wrong set of things for doing that. Certainly, they’re going to throw up barriers.”

Read the full article from the Hartford Courant here.

Can new tariff models help Massachusetts solve the rooftop solar compensation puzzle?

The DOER’s proposed tariff would replace the NEM retail rate remuneration and the SREC value that currently go to solar owners for the generation their arrays send to the grid, said Acadia Center Massachusetts Office Director Peter Shattuck, who’s followed the proposal.

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“The most important thing is continuing solar development,” agreed Acadia’s Shattuck. “That can best be accomplished by a value-based payment structure that accurately credits solar generation.”

The value of solar’s benefits, including energy, capacity, and price and emissions reduction, can be worth more to the system than the retail price of electricity, Shattuck added. “We haven’t seen universal interest yet in an open transparent process to determine the accurate value of solar.”

Acadia Center Attorney Mark Lebel sees opportunity in the DOER straw proposal if stakeholder differences can be resolved. “There are a lot of important details still to be worked out but if it lowers costs for ratepayers and still provides the certainty developers need for financing we could get a win-win solution.”

Read the full article from Utility Dive here.